Keep Your Clothes On!

Are we now seeing through the veil of superiority the British state wraps around itself for protection? With every mistake, miscalculation and miscall the wrinkly old Union is like a stripper desperately covering up the naughty bits with only a scrap of chiffon left.

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What once came over as all-powerful and all-knowing has broken down under a long campaign into a shambolic embarrassing mess. There are signs every day now of the failure of the establishment to remain calm and to reassure. As each corner falls off, the credibility of the institutions and people in whom we invested faith, willingly or otherwise, evaporates and with it, electoral support.

In 24 hours we’ve had the once-mighty and sure-footed BBC stumble and crash into the undergrowth over CBI membership, the barefaced opportunism of the Labour shadow cabinet day-tripping to Scotland and one of its London stars, Yvette Cooper (born in Inverness, you see) clearly lost in a strange land on STV.

It’s as if the pressure is beginning to tell and one after another, the old certainties disappear below the water line. Trust the BBC? Well, would you? Labour is full of Scottish talent? Is it? Westminster politicians are better than ours? Really?

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The slow death of the CBI is another case-in-point. It was once an unassailable voice of business but also of something more, a kind of boardroom freemasonry where smooth-talking gents met with ministers behind closed doors, like in the gentlemen’s club. I remember spending time with Lord King, the boss of British airways on a visit to Glasgow and noticing the detail of his rich suit, his manicured hair, the expensive perfume and the plummy voice. He was other-wordly compared to the workers, the journalists and even his other staff…he was a cut above and carried an air of casual sang-froid. I was impressed. He was ‘Mrs Thatcher’s favourite businessman’, a privatiser, who stooped to dirty tricks against Virgin in the classic mould of the cut-throat capitalist unable to deal with the very competition he preached. Naturally he rode to hounds and I love the bit in Wikipedia where it says: King kept a flat in London for many years, in Eaton Square, and during his time running British Airways he lived there during the week full-time. At weekends, he travelled north to his country estate, Friars Well Estate, near Melton Mowbray in the county of Leicestershire. He also had a house in Scotland, close to the River Naver, where he pursued his love of fly fishing.

You can see why the public service broadcaster would want to be part of that, can’t you? Makes perfect sense to me.

These are glimpses into another Britain, the same one that pays Alistair Darling £10,000 to make a speech – Jim Naughtie too, by the way – and brings together Brian Wilson with Ian Taylor of Vitol. It is an exalted, secretive community far removed from the lives of ordinary Scots in which quiet words are exchange, understandings reached and pockets lined.

The CBI used to coordinate some of its public utterances with the Conservatives and when reporters like me pointed it out, they’d huff and insist they were strictly independent. Well, they can never say that again in Scotland. That lie is finally nailed and nailed for good. The CBI represents Britain’s business interests in Scotland and that’s why if Ian Macmillan survives this fiasco with his job – and I wish him no ill-will personally, he’s a good bloke – he can never again be seconded on to public bodies and quangos without a public declaration that he will be neutral – which no one will believe.

The BBC’s relentless and hapless decline into national ridicule continues. Just ask yourself what you would have done. In the current situation in Scotland it was untenable for a national broadcaster to be in membership any way. When it became controversial, the need for an immediate and decisive resignation was paramount. Then you’re off and free. Yet at every turn the bungled the simplest of jobs.

Resign – do not ‘suspend membership in agreement with the CBI’. Get out.

Do it immediately otherwise your programmes are going out while you remain in an organisation affiliated to a campaign, defeating the BBC’s own editorial guidelines.

It also implies you are funding a campaign group (with licence payers money).

Nobody believes it if you only come out for the strict duration of the pre-vote period of editorial balance. It looks like you’re only doing it because technically you have to, but you’d rather not and you’re going straight back in any way.

Surely the European elections are coming up next month and despite the need for strict neutrality, you will still be in a politically-committed campaign group throughout that period.

This is terrible, BBC. On top of the damage already done to the reputation of the organisation, this is the latest hopeless mess hot on the back of the John Robertson cock-up.

So obsessed is the BBC with perception of its neutrality that when I was contacted by a journalist about assisted suicide following the death of my wife and I sought management permission to be interviewed, it was declined. I was told I couldn’t express any views on such a matter as it would lead to a perception of personal bias and despite my passion for the issue, the BBC’s reputation was more important. Where is that desire for public perception today? There is only one perception – of an out-of-touch, partial, pro-British institution keen to play footsie with big business rather than do its duty by the Scots.

The perception of the British state as clever, powerful and beneficial is crumbling before our eyes, just in time for Scots to realise the truth in September.

 

 

 

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78 thoughts on “Keep Your Clothes On!

  1. In his book ‘Reflections on the Irish State’, former Taoiseach, Garret Fitzgerald, mentions talks with UK officials and ministers. He and his aides thought that the constant changing of positions and views was part of some Machiavellian strategy honed over years of running an empire. Eventually it dawned on him that it was actually a shambles run by amateurs.

    • And it will always be a shambles run by amateurs. For God’s sake Cameron and Osbourne are running the country and both have risen without trace. Neither has ever had a proper job obtained on merit and neither have ever managed anything worthwhile.
      And the Opposition Front Bench isn’t any different.

  2. I’m sorry, but I now can place no credence in anything the BBC says or does.

    I have caught them out in outright lies, half truths and lies by omission too many times in the last few years.And that is just on the things I have taken the trouble to inform myself about. Heaven knows what else there is!

    The executives are paid too much and the journalists are under pressure to produce glitzy stuff, regardless of veracity. Just like a large part of the financial industry in this country.

    The only hope for me is independence.

    • Indeed the only hope for all of us in Scotland is Independence. The BBC are a disgrace. We haven’t watched tv for years ( it started to look like the rubbish tv we saw in N Zealand in the early 90s) and do not miss it at all, especially the one funded by the people and keeping those at the top in their cosy jobs. It is looking scarily like the people are being duped big style by the media and westminster government, some still believe the hype though. Brrrrrrr…

      • Oh yes, New Zealand television is awful. Ad breaks every 7 minutes (no kidding) and shallow and ‘sleb obsessed to an embarrassing degree.

        That is what happens when a state broadcaster that used to be funded from taxation is made to go commercial. I remember when the first ads were broadcast on TVNZ.

        For all the BBC’s faults that there are channels without ads is such a boon. We have both seen where that leads. We must be careful not to throw that baby our with the bathwater here in Scotland after Independence.

        • BBC runs loads of ads. The only thing is they are annoying ads for other BBC programmes!

          I suppose we should be grateful they only run them between programmes and not during.

        • NZ television sounds every bit as poor as American TV. Not worth watching. Endless “soaps” and ads. So I agree that our SBC must be funded by the Scottish people.

        • Sorry Muscleguy I have to disagree, when you have a state funded broadcaster you automatically have an organ of the state who will ALWAYS follow dictat rather than its own independent editorial integrity,
          State involvement in broadcasting should be as big a taboo as state involvement in religion.

          Anyway you can always skip adverts with a recordable box and with a bit of pressure from the public to go back to the old format of ENTERTAINING adverts, rather than looking for the most annoying piece of music or singer (queue frenetic whistling of The William Tell overture) to get your attention we might see the return of adverts that are more interesting than the programmes, anyone remember the Bluebell matches adverts? funny as hell

          • What’s all this ‘no adverts’ on the BBC nonsense?

            Last time I watched the BBC (admittedly a long time ago) there was adverts for their own shows inbetween each programme. They may not be ‘commercial’ breaks in the sense of ITV or SKY breaks but being told Dr Who is coming up on Saturday night every hour or so is just as annoying.

            BTW when did Dr Who become a work of adult entertainment genius? I watched it as a child. Is it not just a child’s programme being punted as adult fayre in the same way English History is punted as British History or Rugby League, Darts or Snooker is presented as their Live Sports offerings? England international football games shown on National (across UK) TV; Scottish international games either ignored or shown in Scotland only. I’m sure it will be the same in Wales.

  3. I have just spent a week of my life hassling everybody I could think of, to try and discover why I was suddenly supporting the No campaign, via my TV licence fee. It has (partially) paid off thanks to people like me, but not thanks to our SNP MSPs, who have asked no questions; applied no pressure since STV announced last week it was leaving the CBI. I have just received an email from my MSP Rob Gibson, (one of my hasslees) telling me that the BBC has suspended it’s membership of the CBI !!!! Thanks for that, then, and for doing absolutely nothing to achieve this small result.

    • Broadcasting is not devolved so your MSP has no more influence over the BBC than you or I do. You should have been pestering your MP, though depending on who that is it might have been fruitless.

    • If the SNP were seen to be “forcing” the BBC to quit … they would be accused of bully-boy tactics and the negative press would go on for days and days. STV was quick and made the correct decision for the right reasons, the BBC will be seen for what they are: Westminster’s Poodle, regardless of who’s in power.

    • I sympathize, Pam. I can only guess the SNP is playing it cool in case it is accused of harassing the TV networks; ironic, I know, but I can see the logic of a softly-softly approach since, as detailed by Derek, the BBC and STV are doing a good job in ruining their own reputations by their own [non] actions.

  4. I look on with shock, everything I at one time believed about the UK has been shown to no more than a sham. The mother of parliaments, the most impartial broadcaster in the world and true free speech have been exposed as fallacies.

    I really was proud of the UK and it’s role in the world, now I’m ashamed that I had been duped all along. As someone who truly believes that we should all share in our countries wealth and well being through good times and bad I’ve realised this is not possible with the type of people who govern us now.

    Time to wipe the slate clean and start again. Scotland can become a true democracy and stand as an example to the rest of the world of good governance. Even with Independence let’s never take our eye off the ball again.

  5. Yvette Cooper’s performance on STV last night was really poor, she looked completely like a fish out of water. As for the BBC’s handling of the CBI – “let’s hope no-one asks asks us any awkward questions and we might just get away with it” – in the past I would have said it beggars belief. Not any more though. The Beeb in Scotland is a compromised dinosaur – time to press the reset button and try again.

  6. The BBC knows exactly what it is doing – it is calculated, nasty, undemocratic and reveals the kind of state manipulation of information it used to decry –
    and it may yet succeed in its dirty war . A purveyor of balanced news it is not. I am off to ‘suspend’ my licence fee – they can come and get me if they dare but I suspect they won’t – cowards and bullies never do.

  7. It has been interesting to watch another state broadcaster in action recently (RT).
    Prior to the Geneva agreement,wall to wall coverage of events in Ukraine.
    Since then an almost complete blackout with only the odd sporadic article.
    There is a reason why states jealously guard control of their broadcasters who are most useful when the state interests are threatened.
    If the BBC in Scotland are supposed to be neutral,why is broadcasting reserved to Westminster?
    The CBI has now been exposed as a quasi government department so it would be natural for other governmental organisations such as the BBC to sign up.
    No one should be surprised at this,the political design is clear.
    Thanks Derek.

  8. Love the image of the Union as an old stripper. The BBC, as our national, publicly funded broadcaster, is supposed to be impartial. So why is it and many other publicly funded organisations and bodies members of the CBI — a satellite of the Tory party?

    The CBI is not impartial, therefore membership of it implies endorsement of its right-leaning stance.This must flag implications for more than just the indy referendum. Surely membership of the CBI makes the BBC and these bodies far from impartial in the run up to the European election, the Scottish Parliament election, the Westminster General election and the Euro in/out referendum.

    The stripper has tripped over her big stick and has fallen flat on her face in the mud.

  9. It’s now got to the point that BBC Scotland employees must be ashamed to admit they work there. Your attitude to the Beeb seems to have hardened over the last few weeks Derek.

  10. The BBC will have to inform viewers of their connection to the CBI whenever they invite a CBI representative to discuss the Scottish independence referendum. It will also have to make it clear that it is privately contacted by the CBI as part of gauging membership views and thereby CBI policy.

    The CBI policy on the Scottish independence referendum (vote No) will be a reflection of its members’ feedback to the CBI. The BBC, having input to this policy position, must agree with it otherwise it would obviously resign immediately.

    The BBC should make a public broadcast apology to all Scottish license fee payers. I also believe they should seek to claw back any membership fees they have paid and refund them to BBC license payers.

    The BBC must try to be a more transparent organisation. It is clearly failing in this matter and therefore cannot possibly be viewed as impartial. As well as poor executive management I am at a loss to understand the role of the Trust. There would seem to be a complete failure of governance.

  11. Just finished adding my name to the latest campaign for the BBC to just resign from the CBI, as I said we have an organisation that takes taxpayers money with menace and cannot remain neutral, they would be better admitting their bias by remaining in the CBI or they resign immediately.
    We, in our house have not believed a word uttered by them for years now, I think the turning point was in 2007 when the SNP won the election, then the gloves came off and they lost their way. I think it just became more obvious.
    Thank you, loved the idea of the old stripper, or should that be slapper falling in the mud, Some I would love to push.

  12. Colin Morrison.

    I haven’t had a TV for some years and consequently no licence but I wish I had one so as I could give it up.
    Unfortunately the BBC will get away with it again as with the report on bias they tried to discredit and the many other instances of mismanagement and scandal over recent years. What is to be done with them.

  13. Andrew Sinclair

    Is there any way, legally, we could start a “Can Pay, Won’t Pay” campaign over the BBC licence fee? While a judge in Scotland may sympathise with any of us witholding payments – can we find a legal crack which we could all use? It’s just wrong that non-payment of a BBC licence is a criminal act.

    • I believe that crack could be that the BBC received money from the US state department to fund the world service, which would mean it is no longer neutral and we should no longer pay the license tax as it is getting private funding, the very reason they are not allowed to advertise.

    • It’s called iPlayer. You don’t need a licence to watch TV that is not live.

  14. Impartial and unbiased my arse, corrupt secretive duplicitous and arrogant seems a better definition of the BBC

    The millions in EU funding the BBC tried to hide

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/culturehousedaily/2014/02/the-millions-in-eu-funding-the-bbc-tried-to-hide/

  15. Now on my third e-mail to Santander Bank to establish if they are CBI members (I think they might be due to the non answers I am getting) have others asked their bank if they are members of CBI as I may have to move to a non CBI bank.

  16. Shambolic right enough Derek. Tying themselves in knots over this.

    But I’m just so furious though. I actually complained to the BBC! First time. And I signed the petition going around for the beeb to resign from CBIS.

    At least come independence, we’ll be rid of the BBC. And please tell me that we’re not going to create our own state-owned, licence fee-subsidised broadcaster. Independence is when we start with a clean slate isn’t it? Which means we can say goodbye to anachronisms like state-owned broadcasters and an aristocracy. They don’t need to be reinvented in an independent Scotland.

    • Faolie. I’m sorry, but I can’t agree with you on removing public broadcasting from Scotland. If that happens we will end up with wall-to wall commercial crap interspersed with endless adverts. That may make you happy but it’s not for me. And, angry though I get with the BBC’s clear political bias against Scotland, I still enjoy everything David Attenborough has ever made. No commercial broadcaster would ever make these kinds of programmes, unless you think the gee-whiz approach of National Geog is an acceptable equivalent. Personally, I don’t..

      • That’s a strange point of view, I’ve watched the David Attenborough programmes in the USA and Africa.

        I’m sure the rBBC will continue to make great programmes, what makes you believe we couldn’t watch them in Scotland if we were Independent?

        • We might be able to make our own great programmes (and sell them Worldwide) if we had our own Scottish public broadcaster. It’ll never happen with commercial TV. Besides, I don’t want my news to be beamed into Scotland by Sky.

    • See my reply to Hetty upthread. We have both seen what happens when a state broadcaster is thrown to the commercial wolves and it is not pretty.

      The BBC model is a pearl, for all its faults, which we can correct. We throw it away at our peril. Don’t hand Murdoch the victory, he doesn’t deserve it.

  17. Lord King’s piece de resistance was to choke off Freddie Laker’s initiative while her patron, Thatcher, was creepily extolling publicly the mantra of entrepreneurship.

    Don’t tell me this isn’t still happening today via dinner parties in the SUB ( soft under belly ).

  18. No state broadcaster and we get wall to wall Sky/Murdoch. Is that what you want?

    • We could have a non-commercial broadcaster but with much tighter guidelines (such as not being a member of any political party or organisation). Pledged to report news fairly, not to make news itself. I seethe when I hear “the BBC can reveal….”, usually some stolen document. When did the public give the BBC the right to hire “investigators” anyway?
      A completely separate Regulator would be formed to ensure the new body did not offend the guidelines, with punishments of appearing on radio/TV to apologise for breaches. This Regulator would be composed of a wide range of people from different backgounds (not politicians or ex- politicians unlike the useless BBC Trust (a misnomer there).
      Well we can’t continue in an independent Scotland with outdated London rules, can we?

    • If I have a choice to pay for it or not then yes….

  19. I am currently a client of Morton Fraser LLP. They tell me that they are members of the CBI and that the Partners’ stance on the Referendum is “resolutely neutral”. No word if they will resign. What do I make of their continued membership?

  20. Just wondering, is there any U.N. charter that deals with a country having a democratic debate which is placed under a state of fear by media organisations, owned and controlled, outwith its borders.
    You would think there would be something that could be done about this shabby state of affairs.
    Oh look!, another squadron of Russian planes approaching at 2 o’clock!

  21. Withholding the licence fee doesn’t go far enough. Wonder what the possibilities are for a class action demanding return of the licence fee (backdated) on grounds of breach of contract.

  22. Good article, Derek. Signed the petition for the B.B.C to resign from the C.B.I immediately, and also sent a complaint to this now discredited organisation giving my reasons why they should. Will they? No, they will not, as they are only following the dictat not only of John Reith, but their present D.G, Tony Hall. The S.B.S, the P.B.S which will replace the B.B.C in Scotland once we become independent, will, it seems, still retain much of the same staff as the Scottish Government have said they will honour the existing contracts. Hopefully, these prove to be short ones, so that a fresh, and fairer attitude can be brought to bear at P.Q.

  23. Well put Derek. BBC Scotland lost their best current affairs journalist when you left. And you will have lost a tidy salary. All the more credit to you. I don’t suppose there’s an N.U.J. for bloggers!

  24. The temporary suspension is just the BBC’s sop to the plebs so it can say “we did the right thing”, while really doing nothing that will interfere with its organisation and actions.

    With no laws to prevent it, the BBC will sail on, unconcerned, with eyes wide shut, apparently not realising that it is headed for the waterfall of sharing the licence fee with Murdoch (or even worse?).

    Is the BBC’s current biased coverage of the referendum part of a deal with Westminster to give it a few years more. If so, they will have to hope their trust in the current and successor governments doesn’t turn out to be misplaced.

  25. There is a wider issue here that no one is picking up on.

    Capita, who purport to act as the TV Licensing Authority, collect the license fee on behalf of the BBC.

    Capita are members of the CBI and have neither suspended nor resigned from the CBI since they announced their support for the No campaign.

    Surely their is a reputational risk in the BBC using a CBI member to collect it’s funding between now and the referendum. Has this question been asked of Capita and/or the BBC?

  26. And just as I posted that…..the CBI have done a U-turn:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-27159618

    Can the no campaign get any worse?

  27. How these people think things will ever be the same again mystifies me. The Tories in 78 felt they could not only ignore Scotland after “winning” the devolution referendum, they also felt they could marginalise it and reduce it. They would put into effect all the things they claimed the devolution package on offer at time would bring about. How on earth did the Tories think they could ignore and marginalise the 52% of Scots who voted yes. How on earth did they think they could get away with betraying the concerns of those who voted no. All it bred was a deep well of anti-troy sentiment that is still running strong to this day. It is incredible to see them put their precious union in the firing like this.

    There is no way back for them after this. Yes or no, the union loses.

  28. I think that your images and populist derogatory inferences detract from this piece.

  29. It appears Tom Morton who is paid via our licence fee isn’t holding back on the no side

  30. Well, Derek, you seem to have been on something of a journey since leaving the bbc, I suspect you may have reached your destination.

    Do you still think that it is just incompetence at bbc Scotland? Really?

    That said, I am with Hetty, Muscleguy and setondene. This is much of value in the bbc that we would be the poorer for losing. Commercial tv is vile. The main problem in bbc Scotland is the ‘news room’ mob, once that is sorted I would hope that we can build an SBC that we can take pride in.

  31. http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaaction/about/why_media

    A supposed charity changing lives? or promoting their views?

  32. The World at One had Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (aka Foulkes & Wilson) to “discuss” the Labour Cabinet’s visit to Scotland. No one from the SNP was available as they were still at the Memorial. It was sickening to hear their slanders and mis-representations going unchallenged. I can’t remember a more partial and disgraceful piece.

  33. What do people think about the CBI apparently trying to “de-register” with the Electoral Commission? Have I got it wrong? It seems a complete mess if true.

    Wonder if that means they will take the anti-independence material their members are paying for off their portal. And will the leaver members rejoin?

    • The C.B.I as far as Scotland are concerned are finished, a busted flush marga. Apart from their cackhanded attempt to join the No campaign, which has backfired, spectacularly, they are now lying by saying that it was a mistake by a junior member of staff. In other words, “a big boy did it, an ran away”. This policy decision would have been taken at the highest level, so they really must think our heads button up the back. Another gift for the Yessers.

      • And hilarious, too, I’m sure you’ll agree, that they left this latest decision long enough to allow the BBC to get egg on its face by dragging its feet for nearly a week longer than STV.

  34. Having thought about what to do with the BBC since the Prof Robertson ‘cock-up’, which does not include getting rid of the institution post-independence, I imagine and expect that an SNP administration in an Independent Scotland would oversee a clear out of the senior management responsable for the obvious bias and unprofessional nature of much of the reporting which has been exposed and commented on during the independence campaign. I know that will probably mean ‘golden handshakes’ and gilt edged pensions all round, but if that’s what it takes to re-establish a new credible SBC then so be it. Failing that, or a No vote, I for one will not pay for another TV licence until the mess at Atlantic Quay is cleaned up.

  35. I think we’ve gone beyond car crash campaigning on the part of BT Derek and moved straight on to train wreck. Ed with his jaiket aff plea to traditional Labour values (which he wouldn’t know if they bit him on the arse) and the CBI pulling a 180.

    Not long now. 🙂

  36. I can’t wait for next weeks instalment from better together.This is better than any episode of Faulty Towers or Yes Minister.So we have had aliens,world war 3,third world debt and charity crisis! What about the Black Death..rats allowed to breed out of control in independent Scotland..rabid dogs from the continent!

    • Watched the programme on the Black Death, recorded, last night, from what I could gather we didn’t get it. Never got out of London, so all those burials in the Burghmuir in Edinburgh, well they obviously never happened.

  37. There was an interesting example of how the Establishment works in the Sunday TImes last weekend. It was an interview with the Chair of the Charities Commission and he described how he got the job. He was phoned up by Tony Blair’s old headmaster and told that he should apply as he should “do some public service”. He then applied and got the £50K pa job for 2 days a week having had no previous experience of being involved in Charity administration.

  38. I can quite easily imagine that the CBI took its stance on the advice of a Mr Alistair Darling as we know how close he is to big business and the city. It is often said he was behind the change of tactic on CU, from being unlikely, to all three UK parties ruling it out and we know what a blunder that was.
    Its just a hunch, but we know he likes to court anti indy stances from his business friends and he has been keeping a low profile recently. Wouldn’t it be nice if The Sunday Herald was digging around the story and found Darlings fingerprints all over it. One can but dream!

  39. The cracks in this British Establishment are really beginning to show now. Good piece Derek .
    For some reason I’m not receiving your blog and despite subscribing again still getting no further email posts. Has anyone else had this problem?

  40. Derek, do you remember the BBC documentary series “The Power of Nightmares” by Adam Curtis? It was subtitled “The Rise of the Politics of Fear,” and is described on the internet as “a series of documentaries about the use of fear for political gain.” Do you think there’s any chance the BBC would do a re-run sometime between now and 18th September?
    While doing a bit of research into the subject yesterday, I came across a recent speech by NICK CLEGG, in which he says: “… go out and campaign with all the gusto and determination that you can muster, go out to campaign against the politics of fear …” Okay, context is everything: he was asking his followers to fight UKIP. But what a hypocrite! When it comes to talk of the referendum on Scottish independence, he is tarred with the same brush as Farage and Co and seems quite keen to contribute to the politics of fear so favoured by the Negativity Campaign.

  41. Derek,
    you talk about the crumbling state…
    As someone who pays for the BBC and following the Professors report,I was heartened to be able to read quarterly reports from the BBC Complaints Unit.In their reports.they breakdown the numbers of complaints, a breakdown of each category for example ‘harm to individual/organisation’,factual inaccuracy,political bias and then action taken.So far so good at national level?
    In my FOI, I asked BBC Scotland for much more straightforward info than that though,simply the number of complaints of political bias, received by BBC Scotland TV/radio 2011-2014 .NO breakdown of who had complained (so avoiding which parties/ individuals could influence) ,no action taken (avoiding misrepresentation of facts) just simply the numbers.
    What I received in my reply from Pacific Quay was, they will not be giving the numbers out as this is ‘covered by art,literature and journalism’ and could influence editorial decisions.
    So once more at UK level ,you can have access to the facts which will not influence editorial decisions but at a Scottish level, based on numbers, the professional editors ,paid by the public ‘might ‘be influenced by numbers?
    Whether it be the CBI or the BBC in Scotland, they are treating the public, the very people they claim to be acting in ‘our best interest’ as fools.
    I think while clinging on by their fingernails to this crumbling edifice of the British state you write about, Messers Small, McQuarrie and Boothman should ask Mr Mcmillan to move along as the contempt being shown by our establishment,may need room for others before this Referendum is over.

  42. I am sure I read somewhere that the BBC funds the right wing think tank the IFS. Then they trumpet them as the most impartial think tank in the world, ever. Why do we fund these things indirectly with our licence fee, and can a London based right wing think tank ever be impartial. I hope this CBI thing starts to open a can of worms as the British State stinks to high heaven.

  43. Cag-does-thinking

    I’ve just seen the interview with Mr CBI affectionately dubbed Crudland by somebody I know on BBC telly where the interviewer bent over backwards not to question any of his honest mistakes by junior officials too closely. So it seems they know what all of their 1200 registered Scottish company members in Scotland think without it seems any consultation on the matter with those members but maybe we shouldn’t really expect any close democratic values to apply here.

    What it does open up though is just how close to political a lobby organisation is.

    They can’t have it all ways, if they have a view that is one position then they can never claim to have neutrality which puts their members particularly in the media in an impossible position with regard to impartiality. Quite simply the CBI isn’t neutral and no amount of technical paperwork will change that. It holds a view and that makes those public bodies that have had to leave the tip of the iceberg.

    It also raises the very relevant question about think tanks and “respected commentators” that have contibuted to media stories and their relationship to institutions such as universities trying to fly an impartial line.

  44. dennis mclaughlin

    it’s getting a wee bit “Groundhogdaylike”………. where are we now Toto ?

  45. Thing is what happens now?
    I personally heard the ‘team’ representing the Electoral Commision, who will deliver a ‘Gold ‘standard Referendum.
    The EC objectives state, “a permitted participant, must identify the outcome they will campaign for”.
    So if the EC allow the CBI to withdraw their application, (even although they have stated their intention and registered and are solely responsible for the shambles they have created) I think in my book will reflect badly on the Electoral Commision.
    Although the CBI have got the position they asked for (and if the CBI cannot withdraw their application), where does the BBC credibility stand ?
    I believe the 2nd of May is the closing date for registering, let’s hope the Electoral Commision finds an honest way of dealing with this in the interests of a Gold standard Referendum for the people of Scotland.

  46. The BBC is of course being paraded as a benefit to Scotland of union.

    However: the BBC’s London bosses long ago decided England and Britain are the same thing; therefore, they believe radio and TV output tailored for an English audience fulfils the duty to the British taxpayer. Scotland’s job is to listen to their outlooks, priorities and prejudices as if they are ours.

    It’s like eavesdropping on someone else’s broadcasting service.

    You can imagine Scottish independence having near-zero impact on BBC London, business as usual, ignoring the interests of the bits beyond the Windsor flood plain.

  47. Sorry the deadline for the designation is the 2nd of May.

  48. I may be mistaken, but I think you have to have already learnt economics to get a job as an economist.

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